Snap Notches First Quarterly Profits on $1.3 Billion Revenue

Snap Inc. ended 2021 with its first net profit on quarterly results since going public in 2017, with Q4 earnings of $22.5 million versus last year’s net loss of $113 million during the same period. The company’s Q4 revenue of $1.3 billion marked a 42 percent increase year-over-year, while Snapchat’s daily active users rose 20 percent to 319 million, beating analyst estimates on both counts, which sent Snap stock soaring last week. In 2022, Snap has to contend with Apple’s iOS privacy changes, something Meta Platforms forecasts will take a $10 billion bite out of its own earnings. 

But Snap CFO Derek Andersen said on the analyst call that the company’s direct response advertising businesses “experienced a recovery from the iOS changes ‘quicker than we anticipated,’” according to CNBC, which quoted Andersen as saying during the Q&A that Snap has made privacy integral to its products, and because of that result the iOS changes are “likely to be experienced differently for our business than perhaps for others.”

Andersen qualified his observations by saying Snap anticipates “it will take at least a couple more quarters for our advertising partners to build full confidence in our new measurement solutions.”

“The results were good news for a tech sector hammered … on gloomy outlooks and concern that Apple’s privacy updates, which were introduced last year and allow users to prevent apps from tracking their online activity for advertising purposes, would hurt ad revenue,” CNN reports, noting that Pinterest also reported higher-than-expected revenue last week, resulting in a 20 percent jump in share price.

Snap shares were up anywhere from 50- to 60 percent last week, depending on when you checked. Snap earnings were $22.5 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $113 million in the prior-year quarter.

“Snap still has a long runway for growth compared to larger tech rivals. It has developed a strategy to attract new users across Latin America, Europe and Asia,” CNN says. Meta said on its earnings call Wednesday that Facebook’s global monthly active users grew by 4 percent year-over-year, or +84 million to total 2.91 billion, but CNN said there was no user growth compared to Q3.

“Snapchat is clearly not as prone to the TikTok effect as Meta, with strong daily active user growth in all regions, including North America,” Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg was reported as saying in MarketWatch, which added that, “even so, most growth came from Rest of World, and most of that likely from India, where TikTok remains banned.”

Snap forecasts Q1 2022 revenue will be between $1.03 billion and $1.08 billion, with daily active users hitting 328 million to 330 million.

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